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Best Practice for Automotive Refinishers When Spray Painting

Spray Paint in a Well-Ventilated Room

Use High Volume Low-Pressure Spray (HVLP) Guns

Wear Air Supplied Respirators and Chemical Resistant Gloves and Clothing

Put Someone in Charge of Health and Safety

How Can I Get More Information?



Image of worker spray painting a car

Save $$$$$ on paint.

Reduce emissions from your shop.

Keep your painters and technicians safe and healthy.

 

Spray Paint in a Well-Ventilated Room

For painters, a well-ventilated and maintained spray booth efficiently removes paint overspray from the air, minimizing contact with hazardous coating materials. For the environment, regular filter changes reduce releases of pollutants from the shop. For business—a controlled flow of dust-free air improves the quality of the paint job. Among spray booths—downdraft, semi-down, and crossdraft—a downdraft is the most effective at removing hazardous overspray. Remember: It is always better to spray inside a booth or prep station than in an open bay.

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Use High Volume Low-Pressure Spray Guns

When operated correctly, HVLP spray guns have notably higher transfer efficiencies (60-70%) than conventional spray guns (20-30%). The result: with HVLP spray guns, more paint ends up on the car and less is lost as overspray. This efficiency is a great benefit to painters, who have less contact with toxic paint components and the shop, which saves money in paint costs.

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Wear Air Supplied Respirators and Chemical Resistant Gloves and Clothing

By using a supplied-air, positive-pressure respirator, painters are much less likely to breathe harmful chemicals in paint spray. Most paint manufacturers say a supplied-air respirator is a "must" when spraying highly toxic materials like isocyanates, the hardener in polyurethane clearcoats and in many primers. An air-purifying respirator will not provide adequate protection unless you develop and implement a proper filter change-out schedule, which can be a complex process.

Chemical resistant gloves and paint suits help prevent skin contact with harmful paint materials. Select gloves and clothing that offer protection from the variety of chemicals in paints and coatings. For gloves, nitrile or butyl rubber make the grade, latex does not.

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Put Someone in Charge of Health and Safety

The shop manager or owner should review material safety data sheets (MSDSs), and communicate chemical hazards and health and safety practices to workers. Once aware of shop hazards, workers are more likely to take precautions, stay healthy, and stay on the job!

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How Can I Get More Information?

If you're interested in partnering or would like to learn more about this project, please call David DiFiore at 202 564-8796 or Mary Cushmac at 202 564-8803, or e-mail at difiore.david@epa.gov or cushmac.mary@epa.gov.

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